Japan’s J-Power steps up coal-fired power phase-out

  • Spanish Market: Coal, Electricity, Emissions, Fertilizers
  • 10/05/24

Japanese power producer and wholesaler J-Power is stepping up efforts to halt operations of inefficient coal-fired power plants, while pushing ahead with decarbonisation of its existing plants by using clean fuels and technology.

J-Power plans to scrap the 500MW Matsushima No.1 coal-fired unit by the end of March 2025 and the 250MW Takasago No.1 and No.2 coal-fired units by 2030, according to its 2024-26 business strategy announced on 9 May. It also aims to decommission or mothball the 700MW Takehara No.3 and the 1,000MW Matsuura No.1 coal-fired units in 2030.

The combined capacity of the selected five coal-fired units accounts for 32pc of J-Power's total thermal capacity of 8,412MW, all fuelled by coal.

While phasing out its ageing coal-fired capacity, J-Power is looking to co-fire with fuel ammonia at the 2,100MW Tachibanawan coal-fired plant sometime after 2030 and ensure it runs on 100pc ammonia subsequently. The company plans to increase the mixture of biomass at the 600MW Takehara No.1 unit, along with the installation of a carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology after 2030. The CCS technology will be also applied to the 1,000MW Matsuura No.2 unit, which is expected to co-fire ammonia, after 2030.

J-Power plans to use hydrogen at the 1,200MW Isogo plant sometime after 2035. The company is also set to deploy integrated coal gasification combined-cycle and CCS technology at the 500MW Matsushima No.2 unit and the 150MW Ishikawa No.1 and No.2 units after 2035.

The company aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions from its domestic power generation by 46pc by the April 2030-March 2031 fiscal year against 2013-14 levels before achieving a net zero emissions goal by 2050. This is in line with Tokyo's emissions reduction target. The company aims to expand domestic annual renewable output by 4TWh by 2030-31 compared with 2022-23, along with decarbonising thermal capacity. Its renewable generation totalled 10.4TWh in 2023-24.

Tokyo has pledged to phase out existing inefficient coal-fired capacity by 2030, which could target units with less than 42pc efficiency. The country's large-scale power producers have reduced annual power output from their inefficient coal-fired fleet by 13TWh to 103TWh in 2022-23 against 2019-20, according to a document unveiled by the trade and industry ministry on 8 May. It expects such power generation will fall further by more than 60TWh to 39.700TWh in 2030-31.

Global pressure against coal-fired power generation has been growing. Energy ministers from G7 countries in late April pledged to phase out "unabated coal power generation" by 2035 or "in a timeline consistent with keeping a limit of 1.5°C temperature rise within reach, in line with countries' net zero pathways".


Related news posts

Argus illuminates the markets by putting a lens on the areas that matter most to you. The market news and commentary we publish reveals vital insights that enable you to make stronger, well-informed decisions. Explore a selection of news stories related to this one.

S Africa's ANC, DA agree to form government


14/06/24
14/06/24

S Africa's ANC, DA agree to form government

Cape Town, 14 June (Argus) — South Africa's African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA) political parties today agreed to form a government while the first sitting of the new parliament was underway. The agreement, which includes the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), paves the way for ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa to be re-elected president. The parties will assume various positions in government broadly in proportion to their share of seats. The government of national unity (GNU) agreement is the result of two weeks of intense negotiations after the ANC lost its long-held majority in the national election on 29 May. It secured 40.2pc of the vote, and the centre-right, pro-market DA retained its position as the official opposition with 21.8pc. The deal scuppers the possibility of an alliance between the ANC and the two largest left-wing parties, MK (uMkhonto weSizwe) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which credit ratings agency Fitch warned could pose risks to macroeconomic stability . MK party unseated the EFF in the election to come third, winning 14.6pc of the vote. The EFF secured 9.5pc, and the IFP came a distant fifth with 3.85pc. The MK and EFF are populist parties that campaigned on agendas including wide-scale land expropriation without compensation, nationalisation of economic assets — including mines, the central bank and large banks and insurers — halting fiscal consolidation and aggressively increasing social grants. The GNU parties agreed the new administration should focus on rapid economic growth, job creation, infrastructure development and fiscal sustainability. Other priorities include building a professional, merit-based and non-partisan public service, as well as strengthening law enforcement agencies to address crime and corruption. Through a national dialogue that will include civil society, labour and business, parties will seek to develop a national social compact to enable South Africa to meet its developmental goals, they said. The GNU will take decisions in accordance with the established practice of consensus, but where no consensus is possible a principle of sufficient consensus will apply. By Elaine Mills Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Little progress on UN carbon markets at Bonn talks


14/06/24
14/06/24

Little progress on UN carbon markets at Bonn talks

Bonn, 14 June (Argus) — Negotiations in Bonn, Germany, on the future UN carbon markets closed yesterday evening with little progress, five months before the UN Cop 29 climate conference in Baku, Azerbaijan, in November. Negotiation texts on carbon market rules under both Article 6.2 and 6.4 of the Paris climate agreement, passed at the end of the Bonn UN climate talks, still included a range of options and a significant amount of bracketed text, which marks as yet undecided wording. Disagreement persists on issues touching on the registries for credits under both mechanisms, information disclosure requirements along the credit-generating process, and the timing and scope of credit authorisation, including the extent to which this authorisation might be revoked. One proposed option would allow host countries to transfer Article 6.4 emissions reductions credits that have been authorised, and therefore become so-called internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (Itmos), to the international or national registries for activities in the more informal market segment under Article 6.2. Some parties, including the US, were heard to oppose this option on grounds of "integrity", given that Article 6.2 is based on bilateral agreements between states and not strictly speaking a carbon crediting mechanism. Another option in the Article 6.2 negotiation text, upheld by several potential host countries, allows either participating party "to change and/or revoke the authorisation of Itmos at any time". One option also calls for bilateral agreements themselves to be subject to authorisation, not just the Itmos generated subsequently. Switzerland, a frontrunner on Article 6.2, has adopted the approach of authorising the actual co-operative agreements. Environmental non-governmental organisation Carbon Market Watch (CMW) today commended the stronger focus on the crucial role of transparency during the Bonn talks, with negotiating parties tasking UN climate arm the UNFCCC with developing a code of conduct on "treating and reviewing" information they classify as confidential about their trade agreements, although it remains to be seen how ambitious the code of conduct will be, CMW said. On the UNFCCC-regulated market mechanism under Article 6.4, which will broadly replace the clean development mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol, there is hope that the supervisory body will solve outstanding issues in the meetings it has lined up before Cop 29. These include the methodologies underpinning permitted credits and how to deal with credits generated by carbon removal activities. The Bonn talks also saw a push for a verdict on the eligibility of carbon credits generated by emissions avoidance activities. But countries ended up sticking to the position agreed at Cop 28 to postpone a decision on the issue until 2028. "Completing the remaining elements on Article 6 in Baku will unlock further funding for national climate plans and adaptation," the UNFCCC said today. By Chloe Jardine Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Japan steps up effort to lower floating wind power cost


14/06/24
14/06/24

Japan steps up effort to lower floating wind power cost

Osaka, 14 June (Argus) — Japan is stepping up efforts to lower overall costs for offshore floating wind power generation, which can play a key role in boosting the country's renewable energy supplies. Japan's trade and industry ministry Meti and state-owned research institute Nedo said on 11 June that they have decided to support two pilot projects that will seek to bring down the overall costs for offshore floating wind power generation. Nedo plans to provide around ¥85bn ($539.8mn) from its green innovation fund over seven fiscal years from April 2024 to 31 March 2031. A consortium of nine Japanese companies led by Marubeni Offshore Wind Development, a wholly owned subsidiary of Japanese trading house Marubeni, has won a public tender to set up a project around 25km offshore south of Akita prefecture. The consortium plans to install two floating wind power facilities with capacity of over 15MW, targeting for operations to begin around autumn of 2029. Another consortium of five Japanese firms led by engineering firm C-Tech, a group company of utility Chubu Electric Power, is planning to build a floating power generator with over 15MW of capacity offshore Aichi prefecture. The projects assume relatively large capacity deployments of more than 10MW and aim to establish commercial technology for offshore wind to become globally competitive cost-wise by 2030. The project winners should set a cost target, referencing the US' cost target of $0.045/kWh by 2035, according to the government's wind power auction guidelines. This cost reduction is needed to accelerate a rollout of floating wind power facilities and help Japan achieve its 2050 net zero emission goal. Japan's purchase cost for electricity generated by offshore floating power facilities is set at ¥36/kWh for the April 2024-March 2025 fiscal year under the country's feed-in-tariff and feed-in-premium schemes. This can be compared with the lowest contract price of ¥3/kWh for bottom-fixed offshore wind projects in the latest public auction in December 2023, with the auction having secured a total of around 1.8GW bottom-fixed offshore wind capacity. Japan is aiming to install 23.6GW of wind power capacity by 2030, including 5.7GW offshore and 17.9GW onshore. It is eyeing the development of offshore wind farms, especially by promoting floating technology, given the country's geographical constraints. Tokyo aims to have offshore wind projects of 10GW by 2030 and 30-45GW by 2040. Tokyo has agreed to new legislation that will allow wind power facilities to be built in its exclusive economic zone, beyond its territorial and internal waters regulated under current laws, while striving to protect the marine environment. It is aiming to pass the amended legislation in an ordinary parliament session that will end on 23 June. Japan is under pressure to boost renewable power capacity to spur decarbonisation because the future of its nuclear industry is still unclear. But rising intermittent output from renewables will also prompt the country's power producers to secure sufficient thermal power capacity, including gas and coal, to help adjust power imbalances. Tokyo aims to generate 41pc of its electricity from thermal fuels in the April 2030-March 2031 fiscal year, which is higher than 36-38pc for renewables, under its current basic energy policy, which is due for a review this year. By Motoko Hasegawa Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Inpex invests in Australian solar, battery project


14/06/24
14/06/24

Inpex invests in Australian solar, battery project

Tokyo, 14 June (Argus) — Japanese upstream firm Inpex has decided to invest in a hybrid solar and battery project in the Australian state of New South Wales, aiming to boost its renewable energy business abroad. Inpex reached a final investment decision on the Quorn Park Hybrid project in Australia, a joint venture project with Italian utility Enel's wholly-owned Australian renewable energy firm Enel Green Power Australia (EGPA), the Japanese firm announced on 14 June. The project consists of solar farm construction and power generation with a photovoltaic and battery system. Batteries are usually a necessary back-up power source to stabilise power grids that utilise renewable energy. The project aims to produce around 210GWh/yr from solar power with around 40MWh/yr from battery storage, according to EGPA, with an operational capacity of around 98MW for solar and 20MW for battery. The firms plan to start construction during the second half of 2024, before it starts commercial operations during the first half of 2026, according to an Inpex representative that spoke to Argus . The Japanese firm did not disclose the investment amount but the investment value for construction of the project is estimated at "over $190mn", according to EGPA's website. Inpex bought a 50pc stake in EGPA in July 2023, with an aim of expanding its renewable generation portfolio. The firm regards Australia as a "core area" for boosting its renewable energy business, according to Inpex. By Yusuke Maekawa Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Business intelligence reports

Get concise, trustworthy and unbiased analysis of the latest trends and developments in oil and energy markets. These reports are specially created for decision makers who don’t have time to track markets day-by-day, minute-by-minute.

Learn more